1-2 doctoral (PhD) student positions with focus on single-cell/spatial omics and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple sclerosis

Sep 15, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
Apply Now
Online Application
Save 0

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group

Come and join the  research group led by Professor Goncalo Castelo-BrancoKarolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. In the Castelo-Branco lab, we are particularly interested in the molecular mechanisms defining the transcriptomic and epigenomic states of oligodendrocyte lineage cells, with the aim to design novel therapies to prevent and treat neuroinflammation and promote remyelination in multiple sclerosis. We are looking for 1-2 PhD student(s) interested in working in this area.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Our research group has performed single-cell/spatial omics studies, identifying for instance several cell states within the oligodendrocyte lineage in development and disease (Science 2016, Dev Cell 2018, Nature Medicine 2018, Nature 2019, Nature Biotechnology 2021, 2022, Neuron 2022, Nature 2023, among others). Our recent findings suggest that oligodendrocyte lineage cells might present other functional properties than previously thought, transitioning for instance to disease-associated states. In addition, our results also suggest that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with multiple sclerosis susceptibility might be operational in oligodendrocyte lineage cells. The PhD student(s) project(s) will focus on the development and application of single-cell/spatial omics technologies, and/or investigate the molecular mechanisms operational in disease-associated oligodendrocytes and underlying the function of these SNPs. The successful candidate(s) will be integrated in a multidisciplinary team comprising computational, molecular and cellular biologists and neuroimmunologists

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Our research group is based at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB), at the Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm, Sweden, within the Unit of Molecular Neurobiology. This Unit has presently eight research groups, focused on omics technologies and several aspects of development, stem cell biology, neuroscience and cancer, providing a unique critical mass and expertise, and vibrant scientific environment. 

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirementYou meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

– Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

(A) and (B) can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education.

Skills and personal qualities

We are looking for a highly motivated, driven, inquisitive, enthusiastic person(s) interested in our area of research, and ready to explore new avenues in science. The candidates should have a strong collaborative approach to research, be a team player as capable of working independently and contribute to a good social environment in the laboratory. The applicants must have a master’s degree in biomedical sciences, Molecular Medicine or Neuroscience, or similar, and it is desirable to have previous research experience in a multidisciplinary international environment in at least one (but not all) of the areas listed below:

  • Computational biology, with programming/statistics knowledge
  • Bulk, single-cell and/or spatial transcriptomics/epigenomics

and/ or

  • work with rodents (including EAE mouse model of MS), Laboratory Animal Science certification is a plus
  • CRISPR technologies
  • Cell culturing, preferably of mouse/human pluripotent cells and/or oligodendroglia, both cell lines and primary cultures

Please remember, these are PhD student positions, you are not expected to have already extensive know-how or expertise in the above-mentioned techniques, but to have some background in some of these areas, so you can further learn them in more depth in our lab, while doing exciting curiosity-driven science (with possible application to disease treatments in the long run).

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Application process

Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

Your application must contain the following documents:

– A personal letter and a curriculum vitae- Degree projects and previous publications, if any- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above- Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)- Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:

– Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research- Analytical skill- Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.

All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

  • Type of employment- PhD placement
  • Contract type- Full time
  • First day of employment- Upon agreement
  • Salary- Monthly
  • Number of positions- 1
  • Full-time equivalent- 100
  • City- Solna
  • County- Stockholms län
  • Country- Sweden
  • Reference number- STÖD 2-2801/2023


  • Professor, Gonçalo Castelo-Branco , goncalo.castelo-branco@ki.se
  • Tony Jimenez-Beristain , tony.beristain@ki.se

Union representative

  • Anurupa Nagchowdhury (ST), anurupa.nagchowdhury@ki.se



Last application date

15.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST